Substance Abuse

The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

Congress Unveils Bill Funding Key Justice Programs

On January 13, 2014 the House and Senate appropriators released the $1 trillion omnibus federal spending package, which includes a $51.6 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill.



The JJIE Magazine

This new online magazine from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) features stories, videos, and photography on issues pertinent to the juvenile justice field.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Webinar: A Five-Part Webinar Series on Evidence Based Practices for People Involved the Criminal Justice System

Hosted by SAMSHA, this five-part webinar series will provide updates on the following topics: forensic assertive community treatment, employment for individuals with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system, illness management and recovery, integrating mental health and substance abuse services for people with co-occurring disorders involved in criminal justice system, and risk-needs-responsivity and cognitive-behavioral interventions.



Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Applicants

On January 24, 2013, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) released Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grant applications. On February 19, 2013, the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) hosted a webinar [...]


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Behavioral Health Barometer: United States, 2013

This publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides data about key indicators of behavioral health problems including rates of serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, underage drinking, and the percentages of those who seek treatment for these disorders.

The Sentencing Project

State of Sentencing 2013: Developments in Policy and Practice

The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with some 7.2 million Americans under correctional supervision. During 2013, legislators in at least 31 states adopted 47 criminal justice policies that may help to reduce the prison population, improve juvenile justice outcomes, and eliminate the barriers that marginalize people with criminal records.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings

This report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration presents the results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug and Health. It provides detailed tables of the national estimates on the prevalence of mental disorders and mental health service use among youth and adults.

Center for Health & Justice at TASC

No Entry: A National Survey of Criminal Justice Diversion Programs and Initiatives

This report from the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities’ Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) provides the results of a national survey of criminal justice diversion programs, focusing on strategies and lessons learned for reducing recidivism, improving health interventions, and achieving public cost savings.

2012 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released its 2012 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) data and documentation files, which are available for download and online analysis.

Recent headlines

In new step to fight recidivism, Attorney General Holder announces Justice Department to require federal halfway houses to boost treatment services for inmates prior to release

In a new step to further the Justice Department’s efforts towards enhancing reentry among formerly incarcerated individuals, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will impose new requirements on federal halfway houses that help inmates transition back into society.

Drug courts making a much needed comeback

Massachusetts’ Governor Patrick recently proposed funding to a new set of legal resources designed to address these issues. Drug Courts that have existed in various forms for many years just received support for five new courts in the Commonwealth. These “Problem Solving Courts” are staffed with social workers and other treatment professionals who work with probation officers and judges to structure necessary treatment programs for those who, because of their illness, are not currently capable of engaging in these programs themselves.

Transitional housing vital for women out of jail, recovering addicts

Grace Haven Ministries, a nonprofit organization founded by Phalen, a former teacher and the wife of Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen, runs the houses. They provide transitional housing for women who are freshly released from the county jail with nowhere else to go, or are recovering from drug addiction, or often both.

Support, Fund Justice Reinvestment Initiative

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative was signed into Oklahoma law in May 2012, and promised as a plan that would increase the use of sentencing alternatives and other measures to steer nonviolent offenders away from prison, lower incarceration rates, save on prison costs, and allow savings to be reinvested in public-safety efforts.


Mass incarceration: the whole pie

This briefing presents the first graphic we’re aware of that aggregates the disparate systems of confinement in this country, which hold more than 2.4 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

Medicaid’s New Prisoner Population

Under the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, 25 states and the District of Columbia have broaden their health coverage for low-income individuals and the uninsured—the population the law was originally intended to help.